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Surge In Respiratory Illnesses Spike Fever Reducers Demand

Drug producers tell the public to not hoard medicine
Photo: Drazen Zigic | Shutterstock

The early flu season, mixed with a surge of RSV and COVID cases, is spiking fever-reducing medicine demand all across North Texas. Despite this increased demand, drug manufacturers are confident it won’t result in a shortage. 

"Consumer demand for pediatric pain relievers in the U.S. is high, but there are no supply chain issues and we do not have an overall shortage in the U.S.," Johnson & Johnson’s spokesperson Melissa Witt told NPR. The company produces Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin and says it is "experiencing high consumer demand and are doing everything we can to make sure people have access to the products they need."

According to NPR, sales of pediatric internal analgesics including acetaminophen and ibuprofen were up over 26% in October when compared with the same period last year. 

Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s spokesperson Anita Brikman told NPR the supply chain is strong enough to provide the necessary products, only parents might need to check more than one store when looking for them and maybe buy generic products instead of name brands.

These types of medicine are becoming increasingly necessary to treat mild symptoms at home as pediatric hospitals in the region are reaching max capacity with “tripledemic” cases. Since this surge in respiratory illnesses began in August, doctors have repeatedly advised parents to save the ER exclusively for emergencies and to get the flu shot as soon as possible to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system.

“Even if your kid is having mild cough/cold symptoms, they can absolutely still get their flu vaccine,” Dr. Laura Romano at Cook Children’s Hospital told WFAA. “It will keep you out of the hospital and if you are an at-risk individual, you absolutely need to get it.”

Doctors are also reminding parents that fever reducers are only for comfort and won’t have a curative effect on children. “Fever is in some ways beneficial,” said Dr. Catherine Frank at Pediatric Healthcare Associates of McKinney for WFAA. “It’s the body trying to fight whatever infection is there.” So if the temperature is not causing discomfort in the child, fever reducers might not be necessary.

If you have any questions, doctors are encouraging parents to call their pediatrician before going to the ER. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a guideline to treat children’s fever at home.